More Professional Athletes Are Turning to Cannabis & Talking About It

More Professional Athletes Like These Are Turning to Cannabis

(Business Insider)

If you need more evidence that pot is good for your body, read up.

In light of the Olympics, I’ve decided to write a feature on famous athletes and their cannabis use. This is dedicated to all those who worry that smoking marijuana might impede their fitness goals. Most recently, MMA Fighter Nate Diaz showed up at his post-fight press conference using a CBD oil vape pen, explaining how the CBD oil helps with healing and swelling.

For one, Jay Williams, an ESPN basketball analyst and second pick for the 2002 NBA draft, thinks that the sports industry needs to chill out about pot use. Williams estimates that 80% of NBA players are cannabis users who are aware of the plant’s medicinal benefits, which are extremely underscored in the sports world. In an interview that came out last week, he also said that he thinks marijuana has been “demonized.”

Williams told “It’s easy for doctors to prescribe you Oxycontin and, look, I was addicted to it for five-plus years so I know.” About the plant, he also added, “But when you say marijuana you get a reaction: 'Ahhh, it’s a gateway drug.'”

We hear ya, Jay.

He also said that he’s aware there are athletes who even play while they’re medicated on painkillers. “I know so many athletes that play on Percocet. Have you ever taken Percocet by the way? It makes you way more groggy than rubbing cannabis oil into your skin,” he says.

Famous Athletes Who Have Used Marijuana

Williams isn’t alone in being a star athlete, and one who supports the use of cannabis. Take a look at some of the most celebrated athletes who’ve touched the stuff:

•                Usain Bolt, acknowledged by many as the world’s fastest man and an Olympian, has admitted to trying marijuana during his early years growing up in Jamaica.

•                Michael Phelps, a world-famous Olympian who is also well-known for winning 8 gold medals in the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. He was caught taking a hit from a bong at a party.

•                Lebron James, basketball royalty and arguably one of the best players in history, has been open about experimenting with marijuana when he was in high school. He wrote about it in his book called Shooting Stars.

•                Allen Iverson, another basketball player king and MVP of the 2001 league, was caught for marijuana possession when he was playing for Philadelphia.

•                Jerome Simpson, a wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers and who is also famous for his front-flip touchdown, was put in jail after the cops seized a bag of pot that was on its way to his house. They also later on found 6 pounds of marijuana in his home.

•                Ernests Gulbis, a Latvian tennis superstar, was asked what he thought about Rotterdam to which he responded that he “likes that the marijuana here is legal.”

Ultramarathoners Who Use Marijuana

If that isn’t enough, ultramarathoners even admit to relying on cannabis to help them with their training, even if the US government still demonizes it. A 2015 article by Runner’s World even discusses the many growing links between “mileage and marijuana”, a topic that has been a long-burning issue among runners. Even if athletes find marijuana to be useful and effective in helping them heal from training, it’s still banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Here’s what 2 of the most successful ultramarathoners who use cannabis have to say:

•                Jen Shelton, a world-famous female ultramarathoner, is now vocal about acknowledging the benefits of marijuana and how it helps with distance running. She has been quoted telling High Times: “The person who is going to win an ultra is someone who can manage their pain, not puke and stay calm. Pot does all three of those things.” She also spoke about it in an interview with the Wall Street Journal about how she uses pot in her training.

•                Jeff Sperber is a pro-marijuana ultramarathoner. According to a Runner’s World article, Sperber vaporized some pot after finishing a race, and explains that for him, marijuana is on the same level as Advil although it’s safer. Sperber says, “When you’ve been running for that long, you’ve got swelling muscles and aching joints, and you’re tired. ...You can take an Advil, which will help the swelling and inflammation, but it’s also very taxing on your liver.” The Runner’s World article also goes into detail about how the 43-year-old ultramarathoner has given up pharmaceuticals and instead turned to cannabis to help with pain relief after several surgeries and stage-4 arthritis in his toe.

Time to pass the joint!